It all started fifteen years ago in my living room with an old crappy television set and a Super Nintendo. I was just 9 years old, and I heard the music of Final Fantasy for the first time. I so clearly remember sitting there on my ass, staring at the TV, completely enchanted by Master Uematsu’s music. There was a piano in my house, but I didn’t know how to play, so I just started hitting random notes with one finger, trying to find the melodies that I was hearing in the game. A few years later, I started formal study so that I could learn to arrange music from all of the videogames that I enjoyed playing. Fifteen years ago, I never would have imagined that the RPG I rented from Blockbuster would end up shaping the entire direction of my life.
In 2003, I attended an anime convention in NY called the Big Apple Anime Festival, and I discovered a random piano in a secluded corner of the hotel. At this point, I had been playing videogame/anime music for most of my life, but it was always something that I just did for my own enjoyment. It really never occurred to me that other people would actually be interested in this kind of music, so I had never shared my hobby with anyone before. I just thought I’d sit down and play quietly for a few minutes.
Before I could finish the first piece, there were at least thirty people around the piano throwing out requests! I was like, whoa, I thought I was the only person in the world who cared about this stuff, but here’s a whole world of people that are just as nerdy as I am! I sat there and played for hours and hours until I had gone through every theme on every soundtrack I could think of. It was really an incredible feeling to finally share my lifelong passion with other people that cared about this music as much as I did.
When I got up to leave, there was a director of a different convention who had been listening, and he invited me to perform a concert at his convention. I booked my first real show right there, and that was the beginning of everything.